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Multiple Impacts of Welfare Reform in Utah: Experiences of Former Long-term Welfare Recipients

The call came forth to “end welfare as we know it,” and so we have. This study of Utah’s long-term welfare families represents a commitment by the Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS) to understand and document the situations of families as they reach the mandatory three-year lifetime limit for receipt of cash assistance. It also represents a snapshot of a historic time of change. This study reflects transitions at both societal and individual levels.

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The Dynamics of Leaving Welfare: A Study of Long-Term Welfare Recipients in Utah

This report of the “Understanding Families with Multiple Barriers to Self Sufficiency” study presents data and findings from Phase III, conducted from June 2000 to July 2002. Phase III had three major components: a) longitudinal analysis of welfare leavers, especially those who were closed because they reached Utah’s 3 year lifetime limit for cash assistance; b) in-depth data collection for a subset of respondents who achieved success despite possessing multiple barriers to self-sufficiency; and c) a report problem areas and intervention strategies for leavers found to be in a situation which immediately threatened their ability to provide food, clothing, shelter or physical and emotional care for themselves or their families.

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Employment Plan Evaluation

The introduction of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) as part of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 brought about many changes to our nation’s social welfare policy. Attention is commonly focused on the issues of time limited benefits and work requirements. Indeed these were significant changes in policy. Another, less discussed yet equally important feature, was the Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP).

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Closing Non-Participation: Who Gets Here and Why

The impact of PRWORA has not ended with time limits and work requirements. As part of the implementation of new policies under the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, there has been a dramatic increase in the types of circumstances that can lead to reduction or termination of cash benefits (Mathematica, 2003). The concept of “carrot and stick” is often used to describe the current work-based welfare system

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Building a Foundation for Success: What does it take?

The vision of reformed welfare policy was always that of a one-way street. Participants were to move from welfare dependency to a level of self-sufficiency, thus making receipt of welfare benefits no longer necessary. Passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) addressed the fear that AFDC promoted long-term dependency by reducing the recipient’s ability to view themselves as self-sufficient.

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Last Updated: 5/29/19